Well shucks. You guys know that we love to try new things - it doesn't always work out, but when we stumble across gems like this, our penchant for those unfamiliar experiences really, really pays off.
Here is a short story about a little Nepalese restaurant called Gurkhas.
First of all, this visit was a bit of an accident. We were meant to crash at the Lucky Coq bar to stuff our faces with some cheap pizzas. This plan fell through when Jo announced that she had forgotten her ID at home.
Helpful when you're trying to get into a bar.
No 13. Snapbacks and Graphic Tees
Luckily for us, we had walked past Gurkhas on Chapel Street, whilst on the way to the Lucky Coq before Jo's revelation, commenting on the fact that we've both been very curious about what Nepalese food might taste like.
JoJo spends a lot of time binge watching travel vlogger videos - particularly those who tour around South/South East Asia. Nepal has always appealed to her, how could it not? Apart from the stunning geographic diversity, rich history, beautiful temples and warm smiles - Nepalese food was just another curiosity.
Gurkhas - a term synonymous with Nepalese soldiers - is quite a spacious establishment (in Prahran at least) with ample seating looking over the busy High Street.
It sported dimly lit mood lighting (like most of these places do), exposed brick walls, wooden fittings and antique adornments proudly hung on the walls. Gold accents tied all of that together and the friendly smiles it warmth. Just what we like.
The menu was relatively expensive - a lot of curries, charcoal grilled meats and lentils done every way imaginable. It took a while, but here's what we went with.
Meat MoMo ($7.90)
Ginger lamb dumplings bamboo steamed subtle, taste and texture served with sesame hinted tomato chutney
Brandy Champagne Cocktail ($7.90)
Bitters, brandy & chilled champagne
Specialty of the house, traditional diced goat meat, garnished with fresh coriander, typical Nepali style
Garlic Roti ($5.50)
Flaky garlic flatbread (2pcs)
Steamed Rice ($3)
Homemade creamy rice pudding
Prince Champagne Cocktail ($7.90)
Vodka, strawberry liqueur & chilled champagne
Scallop Curry ($19.90)
Fresh scallops cooked in nepalese herbs and spices
GurkhaRoti Baber ($4.50)
Nepalese flaky flatbread (2 pcs)
Saffron rice, nuts and dry shallots
Rato Mohan ($5.90)
Fried cottage cheese balls soaked in sugar syrup, sprinked with coconut served warm
These are our MoMos served with a sesame hinted tomato chutney.
Momo is a type of steamed dumpling with meat or vegetable fillings, and is a popular fast food in many regions of Nepal. These were filled with a puréed lamb and various herbs and spices. Stupidly juicy, very fragrant and surprisingly light - a fantastic pairing with the sesame tomato chutney which we insisted on keeping when we polished off our dumplings to lick off the end of our knives. So good.
After our entrée, our main order was set on out table, plate by plate in a succession of deliciousness, in order of the most mouth watering.
SERIOUSLY, WHAT ARE WE MEANT TO DO WITH OURSELVES WITH A TABLE LIKE THIS?!
Jo has never tried curried scallops but this was ridiculous - in a very good way.
Imagine a tomato based coconut curry packed with veggies, herbs and spices and plump scallops. This is the Scallop Curry. There is a distinctive South East Asian influence in the way that this has been thrown together. It falls more into the explosive flavour end of the spectrum rather than the spicier end.
A great curry if you love scallops: tangy and warming, it will do you well.
Carbs on carbs on carbs. Our four sides complimented our mains very well, although you may be thinking - rice AND bread? Yeah look, in hindsight we were asking for it a bit
If you've had paratha before, this is kind of similar - buttery, oily and tears away in substantial flakes.
If you visit, ORDER THIS. Chambre is an excellent side to go with (probably) anything and everything on the menu - plus it's different to your average plain rice.
The KhasikoMasu was dubbed as one of Gurkhas specialties. LiLi jumped at the chance to get this in her gob - goat wasn't something she had had much of and she isn't one to shy away from different.
This goat was very tender, falling away as you bit into each morsel of meat. Ample amount of spice (not hot though), in a coconut milk base.
As if we hadn't had enough, here's what we had for dessert! Doesn't it make your stomach hurt just thinking about it?
We. Are. Suckers. For. Rice. Pudding. SUCKERS.
This Khir hit the spot and then some. Creamy warm rice pudding made very, very simply - no frills, just comforting.
Speaking of comforting, check out the Rato Mohan.
Are you guys familiar with Gulab Jamun? This is kind of like that and oh God, it was indulgent.
It's a fried cottage cheese ball soaked in a sugar syrup with notes of cardamom and cinnamon, served warm. If you've never had anything like this and are two seconds away from saying - fried cheese in sugar syrup, wtf? Please, just sit down and allow yourself to be educated.
It's kind of like a very sweet cheese cake that you can lance into with a spoon. It oozes with sugar and other various spices. JoJo wasn't sure if you were meant to finish the sugar syrup too, but she totally did anyway. You simply cannot waste a thing as good as that. You have to end your night with this indulgent dessert!
All in all, not a bad experience whatsoever!
I can't say that I've had Nepalese food before, or I have, but it didn't warrant a good enough memory.
The goat curry just melted away in my mouth. I can't fault it at all! It was creamy, homely and super filling which made for a good next day meal. Just another way to savour the meal.
My rice pudding was a warm delight and could easily see myself lounging about eating that rice pudding on a nice winter's night. It brought happy fuzzies to my tummy! So good, I wish I could have had more if I wasn't about to burst.
The service was great! Super friendly staff that answered all our annoying questions and checked in on us frequently in case we wanted more.
I am one step closer to knowing one of the countries I some day want to visit - and what better way to get acquainted with a place than through its food!
The interior and customer service were a little more traditional. Definitely very proudly Nepali which I appreciated. I liked individual aspects of the decor - I loved the instruments and ornaments on the wall. I thought they added a touch of authenticity and appealed the traveller in me. The checkered walkway to the kitchen though was a bit of a contrast - but hey, it adds a certain dimension to the place, I just don't know what that dimension is!
Loved everything I ordered that night, everything. The Chambre and Rato Mohan though are things that I would most definitely go back for, maybe some dahl as well. You guys are going to have to see for yourselves!
Food and Drink: ★★★★☆
Customer Service: ★★★★☆
General Atmosphere: ★★★☆☆
Value for Money: ★★★☆☆
Food and Drink: ★★★★☆
Customer Service: ★★★☆☆
General Atmosphere: ★★☆☆☆
Value for Money: ★★★☆☆
Address: 190 Chapel St, Prahran VIC 3181
Opening Hours: Every day: 17:00 - 2300
Contact: 03 9510 3325; email@example.com; Website